Convention of the European Section
Lucifer, August, 1892
The Second Annual Convention of the European Section of the Theosophical Society was a most successful affair, and from beginning to end all went smoothly, as befits a Society taking Universal Brotherhood for its first object. Spain was first in the field with her delegate, Bro. Jose Xifre, a faithful friend and pupil of H. P. Blavatsky, who watched always with deep interest the work carried on upon Spanish soil by him and his brother-in-arms, Francisco Montoliu. Then came delegates from France, Bro. Coulomb, better known as Amaravella, with Bros. Tasset and Vescop. Next from Holland a group of five, Bros. Fricke and Meuleman, and Mesdames de Neufville, Meuleman and Windust. Germany sent Bros. Leiningen and Eckstein; Scotland, Bro. Brodie Innes; Ireland, Bros. Dick and Dunlop; England, Bros. Pattinson, Firth, Duncan, Thomas, Barron, Dr. King, Mrs. Londini, and many another, and so the numbers grew and grew till the St. John’s Wood colony scarcely knew itself amid the Babel of foreign tongues. The President-Elect, William Q. Judge, was a prominent figure, now in one group, now in another, always welcomed warmly wherever he stopped to chat over the affairs of the Society he has served so long and so faithfully.
On Thursday morning the first meeting of the Convention was held; the General Secretary, G. R. S. Mead, calling it to order at 10:15 a.m. It met in the Blavatsky Hall at Avenue Road, and familiar faces—Countess Wachtmeister, William Kingsland, Mrs. Cooper Oakley, Miss Cooper, Herbert Burrows, R. Machell, Walter Old and others—were seen on every hand. W. Q. Judge was unanimously voted to the chair, when the roll-call of Lodges had been read, and G. R. S. Mead, W. R. Old, and J. Ablett were appointed Secretaries of the Convention. The minutes of the last Convention were taken as read, and then the Chairman delivered an earnest opening address, recalling the memory of H. P. B., and speaking of the work done by Colonel Olcott, the President-Founder, “work that no one else had done” and to be ever held in grateful remembrance in the Society. He also read a telegram from Colonel Olcott, wishing success to the Convention, and a letter of greeting from the American Section, as follows:
THE AMERICAN SECTION T.S. TO THE EUROPEAN SECTION T.S.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The American Section of our Society sends you through my hands its fraternal greetings. More now than ever does our Society, ramifying over the entire globe, need within its borders strong endeavour, high aspiration, solidarity, cooperation, brotherliness. This is not because strife and ambition are among us, but because we have now come to a point where our movement, led so long by our heroic H.P.B., commands the attention of the world, and it has ever been that whenever a society commands the gaze of the world it needs strength to push forward, aspiration to inspire, solidarity to resist, and brotherliness to give comfort to its members. This Section then once more assures you of its cooperation by hand and heart, of its loyalty to our cause, of its aim to so work that when the next messenger shall come from the great Brotherhood he or she shall find the materials ready, the ranks in order, the center on guard to preserve whatever small nucleus of brotherhood we shall be so fortunate as to have created.
At our Convention in April last we asked you to unite with us in a request to Colonel Olcott to revoke his resignation. This we did in candour and friendship, leaving it to you to decide your course. We recollected what was so often and so truly said by H. P. Blavatsky, that this organization, unique in the century, partook of the life of its parents. One of them is Colonel Olcott. It would be disloyal to our ideals to hurry in accepting his resignation even though we knew that we might get on without his presence at the head. And if he should hold to his determination our loving request would fill his remaining years with pleasing remembrances of his brothers without a trace of bitterness.
The three great continents of Asia, Europe and America hold the three children who compose our family, each different from the other, but none the less necessary to the work. Toleration will prevent dissension, leading surely to the hour when the West and East shall grasp hands with complete understanding. The Oriental may be dreamy, the European conservative, and the American crude and radical, but each can give the other what that other has not. Let us then strive toward the acquiring of the desire to have such toleration and cooperation as shall make certain the creation of the nucleus so necessary to success.
In America the work goes on steadily. The recent purchase of an establishment in New York City for headquarters was a necessity of the hour. Its uses and benefits are at once apparent, and that it will increase our usefulness cannot be doubted. This has left us in debt, but the donations received from all quarters will in time clear that off. It is owned by the Aryan T. S., which is an incorporated legal body, able to hold property and take bequests. It could not be the property of the Section by law, because every State in America is sovereign, and there is no provision in out federal statutes for a federal corporation. But none the less does the Aryan T.S. deem itself morally a trustee, although it has the legal title alone and also the sole management of the place.
Another thing accomplished by this Section, doubtless also something you will yet do, is the putting in the field with money subscribed by the Pacific Coast Branches of a regular lecturer, who travels over that coast visiting and helping Branches, and lecturing also to the public. This has already created much attention from the press, and has resulted in new activity. Other lecturers will in time cover the vast area of the United States. It is an important work and may be regarded as a sort of sending forth of apostles. But we should never allow it to degenerate into a race for money or for the establishment of creed.
Theosophy and the Society have at last made themselves universally, if even as yet superficially felt and recognized in our land, as also in yours. The future is in our hands and it ever grows out of, and is built upon, the present; shall that not be full of the energy in endeavor, which H.P.B. so long exemplified in Europe and India, and Colonel Olcott in the Orient?
Our best wishes, our fraternal sympathies are with you in your deliberations.
For the American Section T. S., The Executive Committee
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE, General Secretary